Joseph Schooling to defend Asian Games Gold Medal after clinching his ticket to Hangzhou with a superb swim on day 3 at Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Games Qualifier
Joseph Schooling will be in Hangzhou, China to defend his Asian Games Gold Medal after qualifying at the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Games Qualifier. PHOTO: ANDY CHUA, SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
Singapore, 17 March 2022 – Defending Asian Games gold medallist in the Men’s 100m Butterfly, Joseph Schooling, will be back to defend his title this September in Hangzhou, China, after sealing his ticket with a superb swim on Day 3 of the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier on Thursday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Despite finishing second in the Men’s 100m Butterfly final to Teong Tzen Wei, the 27-year-old clocked a time of 52.09s to meet the Asian Games ‘A’ Qualifying mark of 53.00s. Tzen Wei had clocked a winning time of 52.04s.
Also joining Schooling and Tzen Wei in making the cut were Quah Zheng Wen in third place and Ong Jung Yi, who was fourth as they clocked 52.86s and 52.93s respectively. This was a first, where 4 swimmers all met the qualifying mark in a single event.
Speaking after the race, Schooling said, “It feels good. The main goal for this was to make the Asian Games. Without Tzen Wei next to me I don’t think I could have gone 52, it was way faster than the Olympics. Overall, I’m very pleased.”
He added, “This is the first time I’ve raced the 100 Fly since the Olympics, I’m pretty surprised, I was hurting towards the last 15, trying to get my hand on to the wall first, but to be separated by 0.05s in this current state, I think looking forward to SEA Games and Asian Games has to be quite exciting. This has given me a renewed amount of excitement so that is good.”
Joseph Schooling credited team mate Tzen Wei for pushing him to hit 52 sec, while Quah Zheng Wen and Ong Jung Yi have also qualified for this year's Asian Games. PHOTO: ANDY CHUA, SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
“I was very happy with Joseph because I finally saw a very good fight from him, and coming into this meet, we can see that burning desire to make an impact in the race. Even though he got second to Tzen Wei, dropping almost 1.03 seconds from the Olympic Games, and accomplishing it here, I was very pleased with how he swam. He has outdone himself in terms of the circumstances”, said National Head Coach, Gary Tan.
Gary added, “Kudos also to Tzen Wei, he also did a really good swim and probably helped pull Joseph along as well as the other two – Zheng Wen and Jung Yi. This is the first time I have seen four guys in an individual event all make the ‘A’ cut for the major games.”
Tzen Wei, 25, said, “Today, I wanted to go under 52, so I am happy but not super happy because it is quite close. I’m content with having two personal bests in a day. For now, I still have the 50m freestyle, so I am just focusing on that, but once the meet is over, I will be looking back at the tapes and see how I can improve and work harder for the SEA Games, Asian Games and the rest of the meets for the year.”
13-year-old sensation Reagan Cheng continued to blaze a trail in the backstroke, as he set two National U-14 records in one day in the Men’s 200m Backstroke. Having bettered his previous national record of 2:09.97s with a time of 2:09.89s in the morning heats, he did it once more in the final when he set a new record time of 2:09.05s.
Day 4 of the Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier will see the Men’s 200m Breaststroke and Individual Medley and the Women’s 50m Butterfly, 100m Backstroke and 400m Freestyle..
The Liberty Insurance 52nd SNAG Major Games Qualifier is open to up to 200 fully vaccinated spectators, and live streamed here.